A little over a month ago, French charter airline Corsair took delivery of its first A330neo. Yesterday, it was joined by its second sibling. F-HSKA, an Airbus A330-900, which arrived at the all-A330 carrier’s base at Paris Orly Airport on Wednesday, making the short journey north from the manufacturer’s facilities in Toulouse.
F-HSKA took off from Toulouse at 13:27 on May 12th and landed just south of Paris at Orly one hour and five minutes later, at 14:32 local time. The new widebody specimen joins the airline’s first A330neo, delivered in March this year, and another five A330ceos already in Corsair’s fleet.
— Olivier Hoarau ✈️ (@OlivierHoarau) May 12, 2021
Will operate five A330neos
The TUI-subsidiary now operates an all-A330 fleet with an average age of 8.9 years. However, the oldest of the planes is over 21, although this particular one is currently parked. The airline has orders for another three A330neos, having opted for a total of five back in 2019. The first delivery was intended to occur in August 2020, but as with so many other plans over the past year, it had to be postponed.
Increased MTOW and Airspace
The neo version of the Airbus twin-aisle jet is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines, exclusively produced for the type. The Corsair A330neos are the first to have an increased take-off weight of 251 tonnes, with the modification having been approved by EASA in October last year. This allows the airline to fly long-haul routes covering 7,200NM (14,000km) and take on additional payload.
The new additions to the Corsair family also have 352 seats in a three-class configuration and all of Airbus’ Airspace cabin concept features, including in-flight WiFi. Corsair has said it will operate its A330neos on routes to leisure destinations Mauritius, Guadeloupe, and Reunion. However, there are tentative plans for a September 2021 launch to New York JFK.
A330 taking the place of the Queen
Over the years, Corsair has operated no less than 23 Boeing 747 aircraft – and all of its passenger models at that. The last three to leave the fleet did so between March and June 2020, falling victim to the quadjet exodus brought on by the current crisis and Corsair’s strategy to become an all-A330 carrier.
Is the A330neo program in jeopardy?
The A330neo has thus far received a total of 331 orders, far below the 1,000 Airbus was expecting to sell. The overwhelming majority of these are of the A330-900 model, with only Uganda Airlines, Kuwait Airlines, Air Greenland and Garuda Indonesia opting for the smaller A330-800.
Its biggest customer is AirAsia X, with an order for 78 of the jets. However, with the crisis still far from releasing its grip on long-haul travel and an ongoing restructuring process, the budget carrier is none too keen on taking delivery.
Are you excited to fly on the A330neo at some point? What do you think of the future of the program? Leave a comment below and let us know.